BARÇA FC forward Neymar da Silva appeared in court yesterday (Tuesday) to testify over charges against him for corruption and fraud relating to his being signed up for the Spanish team after its bosses head-hunted him from Brazilian side Santos.
The player's father, Neymar da Silva Santos (pictured left), and his mother Nadine Gonçalves da Silva have also been charged, but may avoid having to continue to appear in Spain's national court if their application to be tried in their native Brazil is approved.
Neymar Senior testified soon after his son, and did not get out of the court building until after 22.00hrs.
Part of the case was filed by the investment fund DIS, one of Barça's major shareholders, which considers it has been 'defrauded' by the alleged unlawful price alteration on the transfer contract.
When Neymar Junior (pictured right) started to play for Barça in 2013, the club said it had paid €17 million for the top-ranked forward, but investigations by the National Court showed the Catalunya-based side had paid Santos FC around €83m.
In court, Neymar said he 'only signed what his father gave him to sign', saying he was not involved in the financial side of the deal.
His ambition when he played for Santos was, 'above and beyond everything else', to join Barça, but he had nothing to do with the paperwork.
The player's father Neymar da Silva Santos seconded this, saying his son was totally separate from the legal and money aspects.
Neymar Senior insists he is not guilty of fraud either, and that the case should really be between Barça, DIS and Santos FC.
“My son has done nothing wrong, all he did was play football. And I've done nothing wrong, and we don't deserve this,” Neymar Senior lamented.
He added that it was 'very annoying to have to go to court about it because his son 'had better things to do'.
“We don't owe the Spanish tax authorities any money for my son's signing, and we've no intention of trying to reach any kind of agreement with DIS to pay them any amount of money at all.”
Neither Barça's current chairman Josep María Bartomeu, nor his predecessor Sandro Rosell were willing to comment on the situation, announcing that they had already said enough about it.
Neymar Junior arrived at the court house at 16.50hrs yesterday, and the first thing he did when he got out of the car with blacked-out windows he was travelling in was to sign and autograph for a fan waiting outside.